Lobbying and corruption: Boris Johnson tries to regain control

For the past ten days, British opponents, commentators and political journalists have been wondering: would Boris Johnson’s lucky star be fading? The one that allowed him to come out of eighteen months of health crisis without too much damage in the polls and to maintain the cohesion of his Conservative Party despite his blows to the left (his tax increases). It is true that the British Prime Minister is going through a bad patch since, at the beginning of November, he unleashed an avalanche of revelations on the dubious, even corrupt, practices of elected officials of his party by clumsily trying to protect one of their own, Owen Paterson, however convinced of prohibited lobbying practices in Westminster.

Wednesday November 17 was a trying day for Boris Johnson. In addition to a persistent cold, the British Prime Minister, the tired features, the hesitant verb, had to endure in the House of Commons a session of the questions to the electric prime minister. Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer called the leader of the Labor Party there. ” cowardly “, for not apologizing for wanting to suspend a sanction decided against Mr. Paterson. Mr Johnson followed up with a two-hour tight quiz by the « liaison committee », an ad hoc parliamentary committee, where he appeared very nervous.

“Watered down” version

In the evening, he still had to face the members of the “1922 committee”, a powerful club of elected conservatives, very upset against his completely failed management of the Paterson case. Not a day has gone by since the beginning of November without an article on these generous donors to the Tory Party awarded a seat in the House of Lords, or on the “More than 90 Conservative MPs”, according to Guardian, who engage in lucrative parallel counseling activities. And that was count, Wednesday, without the allegations of “ improper conduct Against Boris Johnson’s father, Stanley Johnson, 81, made by prominent Tory MP Caroline Nokes, chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Women and Equality, referring to an incident in 2003.

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But the worst, for the Prime Minister, was perhaps – paradoxically – this final vote (297 votes for, zero against) for a government motion that he had himself proposed the day before, aimed at limiting the second jobs of deputies. He probably did not intend to come up with this proposal to strengthen the code of conduct of the House of Commons, he to whom the opposition had rather intended, a fortnight ago, to want the weaken. But he was forced to do so in an attempt to close the corrosive “corruption” parenthesis that he himself opened. And to avoid letting Labor take advantage of the scandal, overtaking them on the left. Labor presented a motion quite similar to that in Downing Street, which was passed almost simultaneously on Wednesday; shunned by the conservatives, who have a comfortable majority, the latter was however not adopted.

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Lobbying and corruption: Boris Johnson tries to regain control

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